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Cyclist waited more than three hours for ambulance after hit and run crash

Rider says he was “borderline hypothermic” by the time paramedics reached the scene of the crash in Cambridgeshire last week

A cyclist in Cambridgeshire has said he had to wait three and a half hours for an ambulance to arrive after he was knocked off his bike by a driver who fled the scene.

The rider, who wished to remain anonymous, told Cambridgeshire Live that he had to lie still as he waited for paramedics to arrive since it was not clear if he had sustained a spinal injury.

He had been riding on the B1102 Ness Road between Fordham and Burwell, around 5 kilometres northwest of Newmarket, when the driver, who is yet to be identified, knocked him from his bike on the evening of Wednesday 1 December.

With temperatures falling as low as 4 degrees Celsius that evening, he said that he was “borderline hypothermic” by the time the ambulance reached the scene.

“The phone call to the ambulance was within a minute of the incident happening,” he said. “The police were there within five to 10 minutes.”

It was more than three hours later that the ambulance arrived, however, and in the meantime police officers, his mother, and two off-duty nurses from Addenbrooke’s Hospital in  Cambridge remained at the scene with him, and he was given a blanket by a passing motorist to help him keep warm.

“By the time they [the ambulance crew] got to me I was apparently borderline hypothermic,” he said.

“They didn't know what injuries I had to my spine so I had to lie completely still. The police called the ambulance tons of times; the people around me called numerous times and there was even a point that I called.

“After a couple of hours we were told there was an ambulance en route and it was a couple of minutes away but it could be redirected somewhere else – and that happened.”

He was loaded onto the ambulance on a spinal board and taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in  Cambridge where he spent 13 hours and learned he had sustained a broken wrist.

The cyclist revealed that he had experienced a number of near misses on the same stretch of road, which he described as “notorious” for poor driving.

He said: “I've nearly been hit a few times and this time I wasn't so lucky. I was told I was a few inches off being in a box.

“Having something like a cycle path will prevent things like this happening,” he added. “I don’t want to cycle down that road again but if there was a cycle path I would use that.”

A spokesperson for the East of England Ambulance Service said: “We sincerely apologise for the long wait he experienced and encourage him to contact our patient experience team to discuss his wait in more detail.

“At the time of the incident our resources were impacted by long handover delays at hospitals, and we also had to prioritise a high volume of immediately life-threatening emergencies.

“The health and care system is currently under significant pressure and we are working with partner organisations across health and care to reduce handover delays and the impact they have on patients.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Bungle_52 | 2 years ago

And lost among the details is the hit and run driver who has endangered another human being by the act of leaving the scene without rendering assistance and will experience only minor consequences.

AlsoSomniloquism replied to Bungle_52 | 2 years ago

If ever found. Did I see that represented on PoopHole's video, no he never mentioned how many drivers with Registration plates hit and run? He never mentioned how many never get caught?

jh2727 replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
1 like

How many never get found? More like how many actually get looked for?

After a relative was hit by a hit and run driver, she was left lying in the middle of a cold dark road (following instructions from the 999 operator not to move) for 3 hours before the police turned up and it was another 1 hour before an ambulance arrived.  No one got the registration plate and the police made no effort to look for nearby CCTV for the time period (which we could place quite exactly) - if they had found the registration number there would physical evidence, because in addition to hitting her and they also hit the door of car that she was exiting. Then again, what is the point when convicted killers only get suspended sentences.

marmotte27 | 2 years ago

"patient experience"
Wow, the kind of words that seem to exist today...

hawkinspeter | 2 years ago

Note to self - remember to put a space blanket with my saddle bag tools.

brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago

Along with a buff, spare socks, and an emergency flare  4

chrisainsworth1967 | 2 years ago

My 82 year old father waited nearly 2 hrs for an ambulance after going over the bars and landing on his face. When the crew turned up they said he should have been priroitised due to his age and he had a head/facial injury. The key mistake was I told the truth and said he was concious - should have lied, they'd have arrived a lot sooner.

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